Personnel Records in Operating Offices, Social Security Administration, Deputy Commissioner for Human Resources, Office of Personnel

Effective Date: January 11, 2006

(71 F.R. 1859)



System name:

    Personnel Records in Operating Offices, Social Security Administration, Deputy Commissioner for Human Resources, Office of Personnel.

Security classification:


System Location:

    These records are located within the servicing personnel offices that service specific Social Security Administration (SSA) organizational components and/or at a site closer to where the employee works; e.g., in an administrative office or in an employee record extension file maintained by the immediate supervisor.

    Note: In the case of some personnel records, SSA has determined that duplicates need to be located in a second office closer to where the employee works (e.g., in an administrative office or in an employee record extension file maintained by the immediate supervisor). Any of these personnel records that are derived from OPM/GOVT 1 also are covered by that system notice.

Categories of individuals covered by the system:

    Current employees of SSA and former or current Federal employees submitting applications for employment with SSA.

Categories of records in the system:

    This system consists of a variety of records relating to personnel actions and determinations made about an individual while employed. These records may contain information about an individual relating to name, birth date; emergency contact information; e.g., mailing address and telephone number; Social Security number (SSN); veterans preference; tenure; employment history; employment qualifications; past

and present salaries, grades and position titles; training; awards and other recognition; approved suggestions; performance plan and rating of record; performance improvement plan; conduct; and data documenting reasons for personnel actions, decisions or recommendations made about an employee; and background data documentation leading to an adverse action or other personnel action being taken against an employee.

Authority for maintenance of the system:

    5 U.S.C. 3101, Chapter 33, Chapter 41, Chapter 43, Chapter 45, Chapter 55 and Chapter 75.


    These records are used by operating officials in carrying out their personnel management responsibilities. They may be used in recommending or taking personnel actions such as appointments, promotions, separations (e.g., retirements, resignations), reassignments, within-grade increases, adverse actions; as a basis for employee training,

recognition, or disciplinary actions; and as a basis for staffing and budgetary planning and control, organizational planning, and manpower utilization purposes.

Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses:

    Disclosure may be made for routine uses as indicated below.

    1. To the Office of Personnel Management, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), or the Office of the Special Counsel when information is requested in connection with appeals, special studies of the civil service and other merit systems, review of those agencies' rules and regulations, investigation of alleged or possible prohibited personnel practices, and for such other function of these agencies as may be authorized by law, e.g., 5 U.S.C. 1205 and 1206.

    2. To the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission when requested in connection with investigations into alleged or possible discriminatory practices in the Federal sector, examination of Federal affirmative employment programs, compliance by Federal agencies with the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures, or other functions vested in the Commission.

    3. To the Federal Labor Relations Authority, its General Counsel, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, the Federal Service Impasses Panel, or an arbitrator when information is requested in connection with investigations of allegations of unfair practices,

matters before an arbitrator or the Federal Service Impasses Panel.

    4. To the appropriate agency in the event an appeal is made outside Social Security Administration records, which are relevant when that agency is charged with rendering a decision on the appeal.

    5. To Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies in the event that this system of records indicates a violation or potential violation of law, whether civil, criminal or regulatory in nature.

    6. To the Department of Justice for the purpose of obtaining its advice in the event the Social Security Administration deems it desirable or necessary, in determining whether particular records are required to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act.

    7. To a Federal, State or local agency maintaining civil, criminal or other relevant enforcement records or other pertinent records, such as current licenses, if necessary to obtain a record relevant to an Agency decision concerning the hiring or retention of an employee, the issuance of a security clearance, the letting of a contract, or the issuance of a license, grant or other benefit.

    8. To a Federal agency, in response to its request, in connection with the hiring or retention of an employee, the issuance of a security clearance, the reporting of an investigation of an employee, the letting of a contract, or the issuance of a license, grant or other benefit by the requesting agency, to the extent that the record is relevant and necessary to the requesting agency's decision on the matter.

    9. To a Federal agency having the power to subpoena records, for example, the Internal Revenue Service or the Civil Rights Commission, in response to a subpoena for information contained in this system of records.

    10. To officials of labor organizations recognized under 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71 when relevant and necessary to their duties of exclusive representation concerning personnel policies, practices, and matters affecting conditions of employment.

    11. To contractors for the purpose of collating, analyzing, aggregating or otherwise refining records in this system. The contractor shall be required to maintain Privacy Act safeguards with respect to such records.

    12. To a congressional office from the record of an individual in response to an inquiry from the congressional office made at the request of that individual.

    13. To the Department of Justice (DOJ), a court or other tribunal, or another party before such tribunal when:

    (a) The Social Security Administration (SSA), or any component thereof; or

    (b) Any SSA employee in his/her official capacity; or

    (c) Any SSA employee in his/her individual capacity where DOJ (or

SSA where it is authorized to do so) has agreed to represent the employee; or

    (d) The United States or any agency thereof where SSA determines that the litigation is likely to affect the operations of SSA or any of its components, is a party to the litigation or has an interest in such litigation, and SSA determines that the use of such records of DOJ, a court or other tribunal, or another party before such tribunal, is relevant and necessary to the litigation, provided, however, that in each case, SSA determines that such disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the records were collected.

    14. To student volunteers, individuals working under a personal services contract, and other workers who technically do not have the status of Federal employees, when they are performing work for the Social Security Administration (SSA), as authorized by law, and they need access to personally identifiable information in SSA records in order to perform their assigned Agency functions.

    15. To the General Services Administration and the National Archives Records Administration (NARA) under 44 U.S.C. 2904 and 2906, as amended by the NARA Act of 1984, information which is not restricted from disclosure by Federal law for the use of those agencies in conducting records management studies.

    16. To the Secretary of Health and Human Services or to any State, the Commissioner shall disclose any record or information requested in writing by the Secretary for the purpose of administering any program administered by the Secretary, if records or information of such type were so disclosed under applicable rules, regulations and procedures in effect before the date of enactment of the Social Security Independence and Program Improvements Act of 1994.

    17.  We may disclose information to appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies, entities, and persons when (1) we suspect or confirm that the security or confidentiality of information in this system of records has been compromised; (2) we determine that as a result of the suspected or confirmed compromise there is a risk of harm to economic or property interests, identity theft or fraud, or harm to the security or integrity of this system or other systems or programs of SSA that rely upon the compromised information; and (3) we determine that disclosing the information to such agencies, entities, and persons is necessary to assist in our efforts to respond to the suspected or confirmed compromise and prevent, minimize, or remedy such harm. SSA will use this routine use to respond only to those incidents involving an unintentional release of its records.

Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining and disposing of records in the system:


    Records are maintained in automated form (e.g., hard drives, floppy disks, CD-ROM, magnetic tapes) and in paper form (e.g., file folders, index cards).


    Records are retrieved by any combination of name, SSN, or identification number.

Retention and disposal:

    Records in this system are retained for varying lengths of time, ranging from a few months to 5 years. Most records are retained for a period of 1 to 2 years. Some records, such as individual applications, become part of the person's permanent official records when hired, while some records are destroyed 45 days after the individual leaves the jurisdiction of the operating office or, if appropriate, are combined with the Official Personnel Folder (OPF), which is forwarded to the hiring Federal agency or, if the employee is leaving Federal service, to the National Personnel Records Center. Some records are destroyed by shredding or burning while magnetic tapes or disks are erased.

System manager(s) and address(es):

For paper files

   In Headquarters:


          Center for Personnel Policy and Staffing

          Office of Personnel

          6401 Security Boulevard

          Baltimore, Maryland 21235

    In the Field:


          Center for Human Resources

          Social Security Administration

          Office of Central Operations

          Center for Management Support

          1500 Woodlawn Drive

          Room 7030 Security West Tower

          Baltimore, Maryland 21241-1500

 Office of the Regional Commissioners:

In the Boston Region ( Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont):

          Social Security Administration

          Boston Regional Office

          J.F.K. Federal Building, Room 1900

          Boston, Massachusetts 02203

In the New York Region ( New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands):

          Social Security Administration

          New York Regional Office, Room 40-102

          26 Federal Plaza

          New York, New York 10278

In the Philadelphia Region ( Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia):

          Social Security Administration

          Philadelphia Regional Office

          300 Spring Garden Street

          Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19123

In the Atlanta Region ( Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia , Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee):

          Social Security Administration

          Atlanta Regional Office

          61 Forsyth Street, S.W., Suite 22T64

          Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8907

In the Chicago Region ( Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin):

          Social Security Administration

          Chicago Regional Office

          Harold Washington Social Security Center

          P.O. Box 8280, 10th Floor

          Chicago, Illinois 60680-8280

In the Dallas Region ( Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas):

          Social Security Administration

          Dallas Regional Office

          1301 Young Street, Suite 500

          Dallas, Texas 75202-5433

In the Kansas City Region ( Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska):

          Social Security Administration

          Kansas City Regional Office

          Richard Bolling Federal Building, Room 436

          601 East 12th Street

          Kansas City, Missouri 64106

In the Denver Region ( Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming):

          Social Security Administration

          Denver Regional Office

          Federal Office Building

          1961 Stout Street, Room 325

          Denver, Colorado 80294

In the San Francisco Region ( American Samoa, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, Northern Marianna Islands):

          Social Security Administration

          San Francisco Regional Office

          Frank Hagel Federal Building

          P.O. Box 4200

          Richmond, California 94801

In the Seattle Region ( Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington):

          Social Security Administration

          Seattle Regional Office

          701 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2900, M/S 301

          Seattle, Washington 98104-7075

    For magnetic media files:


          Center for Personnel Management Information Systems and          Payroll

          Office of Personnel

          Social Security Administration

          6401 Security Boulevard

          Baltimore, Maryland 21235

Notification procedures:

    An individual can determine if this system contains a record about him/her by writing to the system manager(s) at the above address and providing his/her name, SSN or other information that may be in the system of records that will identify him/her. An individual requesting notification of records in person should provide the same information, as well as provide an identity document, preferably with a photograph, such as a driver's license or some other means of identification. If an individual does not have any identification documents sufficient to establish his/her identity, the individual must certify in writing that he/she is the person claimed to be and that he/she understands that the knowing and willful request for, or acquisition of, a record pertaining to another individual under false pretenses is a criminal offense.

    If notification is requested by telephone, an individual must verify his/her identity by providing identifying information that parallels information in the record to which notification is being requested. If it is determined that the identifying information provided by telephone is insufficient, the individual will be required to submit a request in writing or in person. If an individual is requesting information by telephone on behalf of another individual, the subject individual must be connected with SSA and the requesting individual in the same phone call. SSA will establish the subject individual's identity (his/her name, SSN, address, date of birth and place of birth, along with one other piece of information, such as mother's maiden name) and ask for his/her consent in providing information to the requesting individual.

    If a request for notification is submitted by mail, an individual must include a notarized statement to SSA to verify his/her identity or must certify in the request that he/she is the person claimed to be and that he/she understands that the knowing and willful request for, or acquisition of, a record pertaining to another individual under false pretenses is a criminal offense. These procedures are in accordance with SSA Regulations (20 CFR 401.40(c)).

Record access procedures:

    Same as Notification procedures. Requesters should also reasonably specify the record contents being sought. These procedures are in accordance with SSA Regulations (20 CFR 401.40(c)).

Contesting record procedures:

    Same as Notification procedures. Also, requesters should reasonably identify the record, specify the information they are contesting and the corrective action sought, and the reasons for the correction, with supporting justification showing how the record is incomplete, untimely, inaccurate or irrelevant. This procedure is in accordance with SSA Regulations (20 CFR 401.65(a)).

Record source categories:

    Information in this system of records either comes from the individual to whom it applies, is derived from information supplied by the individual, or is provided by SSA officials.

Systems exempted from certain provisions of the Privacy Act:


    Note: When supervisors/managers retain personal "supervisory'' notes (i.e., information on employees that the Agency exercises no control and does not require or specifically describe in its performance appraisal system, which remain solely for the personal use of the author and are not provided to any other person, and which are retained or discarded at the author's sole discretion), such notes are not subject to the Privacy Act and are, therefore, not considered part of this system. If any of the above conditions are violated, these notes are no longer merely personal notes serving as an aid to the supervisor's memory, but become records subject to the Privacy Act.